The Boy Scouts of America (and their fathers) have been designing and redesigning their pinewood race cars to compete in the Indianapolis 500 of pinewood derby racing. With Indianapolis’ vast and varied history in racing, including the infamous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in our own backyard, these boy scouts have racing in their blood. See their designs and the big race at the Indiana State Museum this weekend as they host the tallest, longest and fastest Pinewood Derby track.
The Indiana State Museum’s race track spans two stories. It is a 125 foot drop from top to bottom, making it the ultimate in Pinewood Derby racing. The Pinewood Derby has come to be a great tradition for Cub Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America. With the help of their parents, these illustrious scouts build their own cars using pinewood, plastic wheels and metal axles. The scouts must use all components given them and meet certain requirements for size and weight. Other than that they are free to whittle their wood into an aerodynamic vehicle, ready to speed to the finish line.
The first Pinewood Derby race was held in the Summer of 1953 in Manhattan Beach, California. The brain child of Cubmaster Don Murphy, Pinewood Derby racing came about when his son was too young to participate in the Soap Box Derby races. Since Murphy’s creation of the favorite pastime for many cub scouts, the activity has come to be a milestone for the scouting career of many.
Cub scouts not only have the responsibility to create an aerodynamic design, but also the pleasure of showing of their personal style through decals and decorations. Making your Pinewood Derby car distinct is almost as important as making it fast. Intimidating opponents with fierce looking fast cars is half the fun.
The race normally consists of six lanes, sloped down to the ground. The cars, which are powered by gravity, sometimes carry additional weight to make them go faster. After a series of heats, the fastest cars are determined to race in a final. Winners receive medals, ribbons or even trophies.
The Indiana State Museum’s Pinewood Derby race track will be open to the public March 11 and 12, 2010. Scouts can take a few test runs to see how their car runs before the official race on March 13. Saturday, March 13, the Indiana State Museum will help to determine, once and for all, which Pinewood Derby car is the champion. All participating cars should be registered by 1:00 pm on this day. On March 14, Pinewood Derby lovers can race once more, as the track will stay open all day for fun.
Admission to this Indianapolis museum on these special days is only $3.00 per person for all scouts and their families. Bring your Indianapolis kids to Indianapolis downtown this week to see who will be the Pinewood Derby Champ!
Treat your racers to lunch at any of these great Indianapolis restaurants downtown. The Indiana State Museum has prime Indianapolis real estate along the Indianapolis Canal Walk and White River State Park. Enjoy the first few days of Spring as you take in the Indianapolis attractions in this area!
March 11 to 14, 2010
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